Lent & Advent Midweek Message

SEASON OF ADVENT 2023 – 12/13/2023 Second Week of Advent

Carolyn Matthews

December 13, 2023

ADVENT 2023

Second Week of Advent

December 13, 2023

 

While We Wait

 

Alean Saunders-Coffey

(A member of Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church,

Dr. Alean Saunders-Coffey is editor of the LABC publication, Testimonies on Grief and Loss.)

 

Psalm 27 (NIV)

 

1 The LORD is my light and my salvation—of whom shall I fear?

The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?

2 When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh,

when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.

3 Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war

break out against me, even then will I be confident.

4 One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek:  that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.

5 For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.

6 Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD.

7 Hear my voice when I call, O LORD; be merciful to me and answer me.

8 My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”  Your face, LORD, I will seek.

9 Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, O God my Savior.

10 Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.

11 Teach me your way, O LORD; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors.

12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, breathing out violence.

13 I am still confident of this:  I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.

14 Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.

 

 

As we read in Psalm 27, although trouble, violence, cruelty, rejection,

and darkness overwhelmed him, David—undoubtedly afraid—paused to fellowship with God and offer Him gratitude for being his light, salvation, and stronghold. During this period of distress, amid confrontations with evil men, enemies, foes, and armies, he pours out his heart, petitioning to God. In his prayers and pleadings, David reaffirms his faith, seeks God’s protection, and expresses his confidence and trust in the LORD.

 

On our journey through the seasons of life, we too encounter family, cultural, and societal circumstances—as well as personal situations in which we find ourselves—that bear witness to tragedy, anguish, hurt, fear, grief, sorrow, and loneliness. What are we to do at times such as these?

 

Today’s scripture encourages us to believe in, commit to, and wait for the LORD. In this Advent Season of hope and anticipation, we can:

 

  • acknowledge God’s grace and mercy
  • trust in God’s protection
  • pause in gratitude for the blessings we receive
  • be still to hear God’s purpose for our lives
  • seek forgiveness
  • offer compassion
  • practice kindness
  • extend hospitality
  • encourage peace
  • sing praises and rejoice!

 

While we wait for the LORD, we reflect the light and salvation of Jesus the Christ, thereby enabling us to enhance another person’s well being and leave the world just a little better than we found it.